The 2012 GMC Terrain earns a mid-pack Total Car Score, even though reviewers, when surveying the Terrain, found it to be stylish and sophisticated.
Of the two engines available, the smaller four-cylinder unit gets the nod for most people's needs, although the muscular V6 comes into its own if towing or carrying frequent loads is required.
Equipment levels are high. The cabin is deemed whisper-quiet, and the sliding/reclining rear seat is a boon, although the 63.7 cubic feet of cargo space (with rear seat folded down) is noticeably less than some rivals.
The driving experience isn't something an enthusiast would relish -- the ride is set for comfort and the steering feels numb. Considering the Terrain is virtually the same as the Chevy Equinox, then compromised rear three-quarter visibility (one of the major complaints leveled at the Equinox) is also something a potential buyer should be aware of. The standard-issue rearview camera and design of the driver's side mirror go some way to resolving this problem.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has made the Terrain a Top Safety Pick.
Just two years on from its debut, the Terrain sees changes for 2012 that bring the availability of lane departure and forward collision alerts, along with a standard touchscreen-controlled audio system that can link up to a smartphone for things like internet radio streaming.
The five-seat 2012 GMC Terrain is available in SLE-1, SLE-2, SLT-1 and SLT-2 trim levels. Front-wheel drive is the standard configuration, although all-wheel drive is optional in all versions.
The base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. SLE-2 and SLT versions have the option of a 3.0-liter V6 that develops 264 hp and 222 lb-ft. Each engine is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The SLE-1 starts off with features such as tinted glass, heated mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels and an audio system that includes satellite radio, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity. SLE-2 brings climate control, roof rails, power-adjustable driver's seat and a higher-quality audio system.
SLT-1 has heated front seats and perforated leather upholstery, while SLT-2 adds rear parking sensors, a power liftgate and 18-inch chromed alloy wheels. A rear-seat DVD system is also available.
Options include a sunroof, navigation, 19-inch wheels and a trailer package.
Standard safety equipment includes traction and stability controls, front side and side curtain airbags, and ABS with electronic brake force distribution.
EPA ratings for the 2012 Terrain with front-drive and the four-cylinder engine are 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined; with all-wheel drive, those figures are 20/29/23 mpg. The front-drive/V6 combination achieves 17/25/20 mpg; all-wheel drive/V6 returns 17/24/20 mpg.
Properly equipped, the 2012 GMC Terrain can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
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